Dilapidated apartment demolished in NW Houston

HOUSTON Even the mayor helped bulldoze the Ella Square Apartments on Ella near the North Loop. Houston Mayor Annise Parker took the controls and helped knock down the last of the apartments. The mayor's office says things got so bad there earlier this year that either the owner or property manager was arrested.

With a sound that resonated throughout the neighborhood the Ella Square Apartments were knocked to the ground.

"This is something that needed to happen," said Mayor Parker. "This propery needed to come down."

Those watching said that has been a long time coming.

Neighbor Joe Saldana said, "It's about time they got rid of it."

Neighbors say the property has been cited more than 25 times for city safety violations, including plumbing, electrical and structural issues. At one point inspectors found raw sewage.

Mayor Parker says this is part of the city's ongoing effort to reduce blight. The property was closed in March. A receiver opted to shut it down because the cost of repairs were too high. The men who say they are going to develop the property and turn it two pads of stores and a fast food restaurant agreed to have the property demolished. They're paying for the job.

"We will work with the property owners that want to do the right thing," said Mayor Parker. "But we will also go after the property owners that don't want to do the right thing."

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